What a few friends, fans, and colleagues have to say.



“John Gerdy deals with the critical issues facing athletics in a clear and challenging way.”
— Dick Shultz, Former Executive Director, NCAA and United States Olympic Committee

“When it comes to education policy in this country, we certainly live in interesting times.  We slash physical education, music and art programs despite the overwhelming evidence they enhance cognitive functioning.  Meanwhile, we continue to fund and support football in our schools despite research showing it is dangerous to the human brain.

John Gerdy’s much needed book, Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment, outlines multiple ways we can maximize the effectiveness of our educational system.  It’s must reading for policymakers, educators, parents and anyone interested in schools that best serve our children’s needs.”

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of “How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan”

“Clear-eyed and knowledgeable, John Gerdy demonstrates that sports has become an American Frankenstein’s monster, far removed from its origins and corrupting every level of society it touches. You could not have a better guide to the world of sports in this country, or to the overwhelming need for its reform”.
— Hodding Carter III, Former President and CEO, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
“How many folks would take their PhD, their basketball stardom, and their distinguished mien before Southeastern Conference football coaches and suggest that their ethics needed a bit of tidying? I was there, and trust me, it was memorable. John Gerdy forces us to think like no one else would dare.”
— Bill Curry, Former NFL player, Football Coach (Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Georgia State)



“The “arts” delight the senses and enrich our lives. Needless to say, the most important part of our quality of life revolves aroundwhat we see and hear. Music for Everyone has taken this creed and brought all kinds of musical sounds to our classrooms, stages and streets. MFE has not only provided the opportunity for the young to learn to make beautiful sounds, it has taken these sounds to the public through innovative and creative programs. So often the “arts” are viewed as a static-elitist endeavor. Under John Gerdy’s leadership, Music for Everyone demonstrates that music is, in fact, for everyone, and when everyone participates the city prospers.”

J. Richard Gray, Mayor, City of Lancaster, PA

“John Gerdy brings unparalleled experience and heart felt passion to this book. Musicians are often wary of athletes and athletes can be equally uncertain of arts advocates. The reality is that both occupy similar, as well as unique, positions in our society. How each group and its activities impact our schools is also unique. John brings unprecedented “street cred” to this vital discussion of the role of sports and the arts in our schools and communities. He is truly one of the most innovative, visionary, community-centric thought leaders I’ve ever encountered. John’s “no-holds-barred” approach to this subject ensures its authenticity as well as the integrity of his intentions as he tackles the tough issues education and community leaders face on a daily basis.”

Walt Straiton, Institutional Solutions Group Keyboard Division, Yamaha Corporation of America and former high school Band Director.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing John since 1971 when he was a student/athlete at Passaic Valley Regional HS in Little Falls, NJ. I observed John become one of the most feared pure shooters in New Jersey school-boy history and later at the highly competitive Division I level. However, more recently I was able to appreciate John as a serious musician/singer and author whose passion for promoting the arts in education has morphed from a vision into action. His Music for Everyone Foundation has provided assistance to schools and communities to promote music appreciation. John should be commended for challenging our society, through very specific data, to reflect on the discrepancies that exist in our schools regarding the funding support between athletics and the arts and the inherent life-long benefits of each.”

Dr. Viktor J. Joganow, Superintendent, Passaic Valley Regional HS School

“John Gerdy, as Willie Marble, guided our students through several six-week sessions of learning about the Blues which culminated in small group performances of songs that they wrote and arranged. It was a fabulous experience for our students. It gave individuals and small groups a chance to learn about the music while they were learning how to write, arrange and perform it as well. Our students were very excited by both the sessions and the final performances. We also had the chance to discover some amazing talent that individuals had not demonstrated fully in our regular music classes.

I believe that John has some insights into the importance of music in children’s experience as well as the value of giving them the tools and the venue to perform it now. John’s organization, Music For Everyone, has illustrated the value of a strong community music forum for both adults and children.  As I tell parents, we don’t remember the great cultures of the past by their business plans, but by their arts. It is critical that we give all our arts the support they need so that we can experience a vibrant and fully alive culture now and into the future.”

Mary Cae Williams, Head of School, The New School of Lancaster

“John Gerdy is a remarkable person. We first met at an academic conference in Memphis where he was presenting his views on the current state of college sport. After dinner John drifted off alone into town as the rest of our group decided to call it a night. Sometime after midnight, he was spotted in a bar on Beale Street playing lead guitar in a blues band wearing his signature fedora and shades. John, whose stage name is Willie Marble, is as passionate about music as he was about playing basketball at Davidson College and in the Continental Basketball League. In his new book titled Ball or Bands, he takes on the challenge of trying to assess the relative educational advantages of music versus football as extra curricular activities in our schools. No one is better qualified than John to take on this task. His jersey has been retired at Davidson College. He has served as associate commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. He has built a strong reputation as a scholar. He founded and runs a not-for-profit organization that promotes music as an educational and community building tool and as a source of cognitive development. I cannot wait to read his book.”

Allen Sack, Professor at College of Business at the University of New Haven, played on Notre Dame’s 1966 National Championship Football Team and has written several books and scores of scholarly articles college sports and education.